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Judge Reveals Secret Righthaven Copyright Contract

Hugh Pickens writes (1984118) writes | more than 3 years ago

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Hugh Pickens writes writes "Joe Mullin writes in Paid Content that US District Judge Roger Hunt has unsealed the confidential agreement between Righthaven and the Las Vegas Review-Journal that has allowed Righthaven to sue over more than 250 charities, impoverished hobby bloggers, reporters, and the newspaper’s own sources for $150,000 each in damages and forfeiture of the sites' domain names, and the contents of the agreement could end up being ruinous for Righthaven’s campaign of copyright lawsuits. The problem is that Stephens Media, the company that owns the Las Vegas Review-Journal, didn’t actually assign any of the rights related to copyright to Righthaven except the right to sue—and that has been found in Silvers vs. Sony Pictures to be illegal under case law. In other words, none the important things that come with a copyright—such as the right to make copies of a work, or distribute it, or make “derivative works”—were handed off to Righthaven. Only the right to sue was given, and that makes the copyright transfer bogus, argue lawyers for the Democratic Underground who are being sued for one of its website users posting the first four paragraphs of a 34 paragraph story. “There is an old adage in the law that, if the facts are on your side, you pound on the facts. If the law is on your side, you pound on the law," says Judge Hunt who joins District Judge John Kane in becoming angry at Righthaven’s litigation behavior. "If neither the facts nor the law is on your side, you pound on the table. It appears there is a lot of table pounding going on here.”"

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